Mother, daughter vie on “Cupcake Wars”

Olympia’s Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes takes its talents to Food Network

Contributing writerOctober 8, 2013 

Rachel Young’s 6-month-old cupcake business doesn’t even have a retail location yet, but Saturday, Young of Olympia and her cupcakes make their TV debut.

Young and her mom, Victoria Cunningham, both of Olympia, competed against three other mother-daughter teams on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”

The episode, “L.A. Bridal Bash,” was filmed in June and will air Saturday. The winning duo gets $10,000 — and a big business boost. Young’s business, Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes, doesn’t yet have a storefront; she’s planning to open one in Lacey early next year.

Young and Cunningham aren’t saying how they did on the show, but although they are experienced bakers, both found it a huge challenge.

“I’ve given birth to seven babies, and I told the producer it was more intense than labor and delivery,” said Cunningham, who has been baking for more than 50 years.

The show requires contestants to think – and bake – at incredible speed.

In round 1, contestants have 45 minutes to produce three cupcakes that incorporate at least two ingredients from the show’s inspiration table.

“You have to come up with the recipe,” Young said. “You have to prepare the batter, bake the cupcakes, come up with the kind of frosting you want, make the frosting and frost the cupcakes.

“If I were doing that at home or in my commercial kitchen, it could take an hour and a half or two hours.”

That doesn’t leave a lot of time for the cupcakes to reach room temperature. “We had to stick them in the freezer to cool really fast,” she said.

One team is eliminated after each round. The teams that get to round 2 are expected to create, decorate and present three different kinds of cupcakes, all fitting the theme of the show. They get one hour.

The two teams that survive and make it to round 3 must bake and decorate 1,000 cupcakes – 250 of each flavor from rounds 1 and 2 – in two hours. And they must present them on a display, built to their design by a carpenter employed by the show.

It’s a tall order, even for one as devoted to cupcakes as Young.

She began baking cupcakes 21/2 years ago, inspired by her mother’s black-bottom cupcakes.

“She brought them over on Easter, and I couldn’t stop eating them,” she said.

She decided to learn to bake cupcakes on her own.

“Everyone in my family loved them,” she said. “I felt so good. I hadn’t been good at anything before. I got obsessed with cupcakes. I couldn’t sleep at night because I was up researching baking.

“I would bake every day.”

At the time, she was a stay-at-home mom taking care of two boys, one now 5 and the other 2.

In March, she was ready to make her hobby into a business. She opened Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes, inspired by her great-grandmother, Rachel Moffett, who was known for her cupcakes long before cupcakes were trendy.

Young’s cupcakes have a twist on tradition. They’re available in flavors both traditional and novel — among them s’mores and Blue Moon, inspired by a once-popular ice cream flavor — and in regular as well as gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free versions (made with agave nectar).

“Rachel has a passion for baking for people who normally cannot eat cupcakes,” Cunningham said. “We’ve seen people get tears in their eyes and say, ‘Thank you so much for making these, because I can’t eat sugar’ or ‘I can’t eat gluten’ or ‘I can’t eat dairy.’ ”

Young has been working part time, baking at Paprika Café while it is closed. She later sells her cupcakes there, at Picasso Brothers in Centralia and directly to customers. She also sells cake pops online and ships them nationwide.

She expects business to boom with help from “Cupcake Wars.”

She’s hiring staff for the storefront she plans to open early next year as well as an accountant. Oh, and a nanny, too. Baby No. 3 is due in April. ‘Cupcake Wars’

What: Rachel Young, owner of Miss Moffett’s Mystical Cupcakes, and her mother, Victoria Cunningham, are competitors on the Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” The business sells cupcakes directly and at Paprika Café in Olympia and Picasso Brothers in Centralia.

When: The episode, “L.A. Bridal Bash,” airs at 8 p.m. Saturday, 3 a.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Oct. 16 on the Food Network.

More information: 360-250-3203 or mysticalcupcakes.com.

See the audition video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMBkKCr8Sgs.

Viewing and tasting parties

Watch the episodes and taste the flavors Young created for the show. Reservations are required.

In Lacey: 6:45 p.m. Oct. 15 at the Lacey Community Center, 6729 Pacific Ave. SE.

In Centralia: 6:45 p.m. Oct. 17 at Picasso Brothers, 1001 S. Gold St.

Tickets: $8, which includes four minicupcakes and a beverage, at mysticalcupcakes.com/rsvp.

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